human use data

Canada’s Pacific Ocean is host to a growing number of human activities. Recent estimates of the annual contribution of the ocean sector to the British Columbia (BC) economy exceed $1.1 billion 1. The BCMCA Marine Atlas of Pacific Canada contains maps identifying where these diverse and valuable marine activities take place on the BC coast.

photo by Jocelyn Mandryk

Each map represents the best available information about a particular type of marine activity (for example, commercial halibut fishing or sea kayaking) at a scale that is relevant to coastwide analyses. The BCMCA also recognizes that Canada’s Pacific Ocean may be used in new ways in the future. The BCMCA attempts to represent where these potential uses may occur to the extent that information exists.

The human use themes that are mapped include marine areas important for commercial fisheries, recreational fisheries, shipping and marine transportation, ocean energy, recreation and tourism, and marine or foreshore tenures such as aquaculture or log booms.

Please see our data library to view the data assembled. 

How was this done?

Human use data sets were assembled from existing sources such as government databases, academic research results, and participatory mapping excercises. Similar to the review process for ecological data, the BCMCA invited the relevant user groups and the management agencies responsible for regulating different human uses to review the human use data. In particular, the BCMCA asked the reviewers:

photo by Jen LeMercier / Rocketday

The review commentary was recorded by the BCMCA and summarized in reports. The BCMCA addressed the review commentary wherever possible while respecting the goals, principles, and intended products of the project.

The user group review of human use data was one component of the BCMCA’s broader effort to engage user groups at each step of the project.